Bumper pads for the prevention of chewing crib rails by small children
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A cloth pad (5) intended to protect babies and small children from chewing on the rails of all types of cribs utilizing a soft and chew proof material to keep the wood or plastic (1) of a railing intact to prevent ingestion of debris or suffocation.

Boutwell, Jaclyn Marie (Nashville, TN, US)
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Jaclyn Marie Boutwell (Houston, TX, US)
1. A cloth pad for use in protecting the rails of an infant's crib to discourage chewing of rails and injury to infants comprising: A thin, pillow like cloth pad having ties sewn through the width of the pad; said ties being four inches in length on either side of the pad to be used to secure pad to rail of crib.

2. A cloth pad as in claim 1 that covers the entire length, width and circumference of a crib rail to protect from chewing and injury; said pad having no open edge to prevent ingestion of said padding material within.



The present invention is intended to protect babies and small children from chewing on the rails of cribs. Most cribs come with a hard plastic cover on a section of the front rail. It does not cover the entire rail and children are able to scrape their bottom teeth on the exposed wood or plastic of the rail. See FIG. 1 for an example. There is no effective product on the market that is a soft protective cover for each of the four top rails of a crib. The objective of the present invention is to provide a soft, chew proof, and fashionable cover for crib rails so the wood or plastic will stay intact, and most importantly, to protect the mouths of children who chew on those cribs and to prevent ingestion of debris. See FIG. 2 for a crib that has been chewed on by an infant.

Some current inventions have attempted to solve this problem, but have barely skimmed the surface. The “Crib Shield” system is mesh and covers the slats inside of a crib with fabric to go over the front and back rails. The “Crib Shield” uses nothing to cover the side rails and only fits traditional straight edge cribs. New cribs differ greatly from traditional cribs and therefore, products like the “Crib Shield” that have been specifically designed for a traditional crib simply will not work, or work effectively with today's new models. The “Easy Teether” system entails a fabric cover for the front rail only and is secured by Velcro that can easily be dismantled by a small child. The dimensions of this product are 50″×10″, which means that it does not fit the length of most cribs on the market today. “Easy Teether” also does not have an option to fit wider rails with a circumference of 8″ or more.

In order to have a quality product that will ensure the safety of children, every factor needs to come in to play. Cribs come in all different shapes and sizes and every rail needs to be covered with a safe and soft material that does not present the hazard of choking or suffocation.

HealthDay News published a study on Oct. 22, 2007 indicating that typical crib bumper pads are not safe, referring to the bumper pads that are included in a crib bedding set. These pads run along the inside of the crib to protect the infant from rolling into the hard surface of the wood or plastic slats. From 1985-2005, information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that there have been 27 accidental deaths of children ages one month to two years old. With the pads being so close to where the child is laying it presents a risk of suffocation from breathing in expired air. “Many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface,” says Dr. Bradley Thach, professor of pediatrics and staff physician at St. Louis Children's Hospital. If the bumper pad is too firm, children can potentially use it as a stepping stool to climb out of a crib and fall. The ties can also be strangulation hazards. Many parents purchase and use these bumper pads merely for cosmetic purposes and because it is included with the bedding. (The information in this paragraph was found at www.babycenter.com and this study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.)

A stylish, soft, practical and safe bumper pad is what should be on the market today. After dealing with my daughter chewing on her wooden crib, I was forced to make something to protect her. First, I wrapped hand towels on the side rail where most of the chewing was happening. At this point, she was too small to untie these towels and could safely chew without the risk of chewing through to the wood. Eventually she ripped the threads out of the towel and choked on the strings. When I tried a different type of hand towel without threads she was able to untie them and chew on the crib again. I wanted to make something like a bumper pad, but it had to be safe. I also wanted something more than just fabric to cover the wood. After many attempts to solve this problem, I finally made a bumper pad to cover all four rails of the crib. Below is a description of how it is made.


Two pieces of fabric are sewn together with batting inside to make a thin pillow like bumper. Sewn inside of the bumper are 4 canvas ties. They are sewn through the entire width of the bumper to make a stronger hold when tied between crib slats. With the ties being sewn through the bumper rather than added to the ends, it prevents the opportunity to be torn off of the bumper become a choking or strangulation hazard. The outer, or top layer, of fabric is made of a canvas-like cotton material to ensure a strong and lasting product that is also chew proof. The bottom, or inside fabric, is made of a thick cotton backing to protect the wood and paint or stain on the crib. See FIG. 3 to see the inside of the bumper pad.

The dimensions of the finished product are different for each part of the crib and in order to be available to a large portion of the public and also to be most effective, bumper pads will need to be special ordered depending on the requirements of each individual crib. The bumper pad assembled for this application has dimensions as follows: the back rail dimensions are 54″×15″, the front rail dimensions are 54″×6½″ and the side rails are 29″×11″. The ties start at 2″ wide and after assembly will be about 1″ thick. The back rail ties are 25″ in length, the front rail ties are 15″ and the side rail ties are 20″. The bumper for each rail includes four ties which are 4″ on either side of the bumper pad to enable enough length to be secured to the rail. See FIG. 4 to see the bumper lying flat and FIG. 5 to see the bumper pads on a crib.



FIG. 1: Plastic cover on rail with chewing underneath

FIG. 2: Chewed up crib

FIG. 3: Inside of bumper pad

FIG. 4: Laying flat

FIG. 5: On crib